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February 15, 2011 – Job 14

Click here to read Job 14 on BibleGateway.com

One of the fun things about reading books of the Bible that we normally gloss over (looking at you, Leviticus) is that we get to see aspects of the Bible that we may miss just reading the familiar passages. Our focus on Job the last couple weeks shows how applicable some of the more hidden chapters of the Bible can be. But it also can help us gain an appreciation of the Bible itself, and aid in an overall understanding of Scripture. Confused? Read on, my friends.

IN THE BEGINNING, GOD…

Sometimes people get the mistaken impression that the Old and New Testaments show different beliefs. For instance, God is a mean old ogre in the Old Testament, and a flower waving hippie in the New; the Old Testament describes salvation by works and livestock butchery, the New focuses on salvation by grace and free-wheeling church services; the Old Testament is all about law, the New is all about love.

In reality, both the Old and New Testaments are revealing God’s nature, and are not as unrelated as it might appear.  As an example (and a topic related to our study today), many people will claim that Jews in the Old Testament had no concept of heaven, and some scholars even go so far as to say that the idea of heaven was picked up in Babylon during the Exile.

SAME OLD, SAME OLD SITUATION

But a careful reading of the Old Testament often reveals more than this. For instance, verses 13-17 of our chapter today give some clear indications that Job has a hope of eternity after his death. After he talks about the relative safety of the grave, he say he will “wait for my renewal…You will call and I will answer you.” That seems pretty clear that he expects to continue on after his time in the grave.

In fact, the Bible is remarkably consistent throughout its pages; that’s one of the miracles of its composition. But even beyond this, we know by faith that the testaments are the same because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He was not some power-mad smiter of evil doers who mellowed out after Alexander the Great came through. He was and is Holy and Love and Father; then, and now, and always. The more we read of the Word, the more we know of God in His fullness.

That’s what Bible study is all about.

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